Bookshelf is a monthly column examining printed matter relating to television. While I love watching TV, I also love reading about it, from tie-in novels to TV Guides, from vintage television magazines to old newspaper articles. Bookshelf is published on the second Thursday of each month.
October 4th-10th, 1964
Published by The Houston Chronicle
As a general rule, I’m only interested in local program guides from the late 1940s and early 1950s, a period when much of the television landscape was still very local (you can find complete scans of a few in the Exhibits section). I purchased this particular program guide almost five years ago when I was researching my article on NBC’s 90 Bristol Court (which you can read here) and haven’t look at it since.
There’s nothing particularly unusual about this specific program guide, published by The Houston Chronicle in October 1964. I don’t know how long TV Magazine was published. Many big newspapers in the 1960s had elaborate weekly television inserts, often with syndicated content, while others simply published weekly television listings in a special radio/TV section.
Front cover to The Houston Chronicle’s TV Magazine (October 4th, 1964) – Copyright 1964 The Houston Chronicle
The Houston Chronicle owned a television station in Houston — ABC affiliate KTRK-TV — from 1954-1967 but you wouldn’t know that from reading this guide. There’s only one brief mention of the paper’s ownership of KTRK-TV.
There isn’t much to this guide other than television listings for Sunday, October 4th through Saturday, October 10th. The one-page cover story is about 90 Bristol Court and includes a two-page picture spread (in color). At the end of the guide are color articles on The Andy Williams Show and Jimmy O’Neill of Shindig. Inside the program section there’s a two-page article about the laugh machine designed by Charles Douglas and brief one-page articles about the 1964 Summer Olympic Games and the elaborate Peyton Place town built on the 20th-Century Fox studio lot in California.
Page 16, The Houston Chronicle’s TV Magazine (October 4th, 1964) – Copyright 1964 The Houston Chronicle
As expected, the guide also includes information on the week’s specials, sports, color programming and a crossword puzzle.
The bulk of the listings section consists not of actual listings but advertisements for a wide variety of things, from patio furniture to TV service, sewing machines to hearing aids, beef to vacation homes. There are full morning, afternoon and evening listings for four Houston stations: KTRK-TV (ABC), KPRC-TV (NBC), KHOU-TV (CBS) and KUHT-TV (an educational station operated by the University of Houston).
There are also one-page listings (titles only) for 16 other Texas stations: KFDM, KBMT, KPAC, KTRE, KLTV, KWTX, KCEN, KTBC, KENS, KONO, WOAI, KRIS, KZTVKGBT, KRGV, and KBTX.
Page 43, The Houston Chronicle’s TV Magazine (October 4th, 1964) – Copyright 1964 The Houston Chronicle
Highlights of the week included the premieres of 90 Bristol Court and daytime soap opera The Young Marrieds, the season premiere of The Andy Williams Show, the start of the 1964 World Series and the opening ceremonies of the 1964 Summer Olympics (broadcast live from Tokyo).
As an example of what an educational station broadcast in 1964, here’s the schedule for KUHT-TV for Thursday, October 8th:
Schedule for KUHT-TV (Channel 8) for Thursday, October 8th, 1964
7:30AM General Biology: Telecourse
08:15AM Plane Trigonometry: Telecourse
10:00AM Exploring Mathematics: Elementary school
10:40AM Physics II: Secondary school
11:30AM Political Science: Telecourse
12:45PM Singing, Listening, Doing: elementary school
1:30PM Exploring with Science: Elementary school
5:15PM Just Imagine: “Pets”
5:30PM What’s New
6:00PM Political Science: Telecourse
6:30PM British Calendar
6:45PM Effective Reading and Study: Telecourse
7:30PM Introductory Accounting: Telecourse
8:15PM Anthology: Two film features; European nations and the Common Market, and Swiss architecture
8:30PM Science Reporter
9:30PM Turn of the Century: Music from Rudyard Kipling era
Other educational programming broadcast by KUHT-TV included an hour-long documentary about the Chamizal dispute and a special dramatizing literary works from England.
In February 2010 I reviewed the October 3rd, 1964 edition of TV Guide, which included listings for nearly the same period as this TV Magazine.
And in April 2010 I reviewed the March 27th, 1965 edition of TV Guide.